I read the book months ago and reviewed it here. It was one of those books that grabbed me and wouldn't let go until I had read all three books in the trilogy. I like to read the book before I see the movie.
Books usually allow you to use your imagination for the details of a person's appearance. Even though Stieg Larsson left little to the imagination in portraying Lisbeth Salander with her diminuitive size, her piercings, and that graphic tattoo, in my mind she became less harsh in her appearance as the story developed. I started to see her as a frail victim of a system that treated her as disposable.
The movie on the other hand gives you this and you deal with it even as you see her softer side, the vulnerable little girl with a kick-butt attitude.
I saw Rooney Mara in an interview this week. She has dimples, and she actually blushed when Ann Curry talked about her Golden Globe nomination. Where could Rooney's portrayal of Lisbeth Salander come from? She said she had read the books, and fell in love with the character as millions of readers did.
I saw the movie today. Hubby hasn't read the book, and probably won't. While I was enthralled with Mara's performance, he was watching the time tick away. It's a loooong movie, at 158 minutes. I didn't notice the length until it got to the anti-climactic part after the Harriet story had been solved. Then I realized the movie had missed too much of the Lisbeth story that I read in the book, and the reason I kept reading through three episodes. The movie makes her a background character. I will say though that Rooney Mara made the most of her time on the screen. All the subtle looks of disgust, endearment, fear tell a lot about the girl fighting to have her life back, even without the backstory of confinement in mental institutions when she was a little girl. I suppose the screen-writer is saving that for the next installment.
I give the movie four stars.